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How Do I Adopt A Child In Florida?

Although it might vary depending on your county, the process for adoption in Florida typically involves an orientation session, an in-depth training program, a study of your home, and a background check. Often, the entire process can be completed within 9 months. Below, we outline the adoption process in the state of Florida so you can know what to expect.

  1. Call: If you do not have a home study, you will need to contact Florida's Adoption Information Center at 1-800-96-ADOPT or 1-904-353-0679 to be referred to an adoption worker in your area.
  2. Orientation: This is usually a 1 to 2 hour presentation that gives you a chance to meet and speak with parents and counselors who have experience with the adoption process from start to finish.
  3. Preparation Course: The state offers several different training and preparation courses for prospective parents. Adoptive parent preparation courses are mandatory and are designed to provide the opportunity to assess, explore, and learn about various adoption issues.
  4. Home Study: the point of a home study is to ensure you can provide a child with a safe home. Local, state, and federal background checks will be conducted on all adults who are living in your household. An adoption worker will visit your home at least once to talk to you and other family members about adoption. You will also be expected to provide character references from your employer and family members.
  5. Approval: After the previously mentioned formalities have been completed, all of your information is then gathered into a home study packet and sent for approval to an adoption specialist. You will be notified if your adoption application is approved.
  6. Finding the Right Match: You can attend adoptive parent support group meetings and also continue to search for available children on the web. After your home study is completed, you can choose to attend adoption recruitment activities. Inform your adoption worker if you are interested in or need more information about a certain child or sibling group.
  7. Placement Supervision: Once you have found a match, the child will be placed into your care. An adoption worker will make monthly visits to assess how the child is adjusting and to see if new or additional services are needed.
  8. Finalization: A child usually lives with their adoptive family for 6 months before the adoption is finalized. After the 6 month period, there will be a hearing before a judge who will legalize the adoption and make the child a part of your family.

Do you have more questions about adoptions in Florida? Contact our Fort Myers team of adoption lawyers to learn how we can assist you today.

Categories: Family Law, FAQ, Child Custody

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